Underground Storage Tank Removal or UST Abandonment 10

Underground Storage Tank Removal or UST Abandonment

Underground storage tank removal is the technical process of excavating tanks from below the ground surface. This task involves precise excavation and environmental compliance. Furthermore, hazardous materials are generated and need to be transported and disposed of. Moreover, soil sampling, back-fill compaction and regulatory oversight are required to achieve closure. Every agency enforces strict standards for UST abandonment projects. A team of specialized contractors, geologists and engineers are required to achieve closure.

Excavation & Earthwork

Specialized excavators are required to remove underground tanks.  Additionally, crane operators and certified welders are utilized to safely extract the tanks from the subsurface. Moreover, field personnel have various state and local certifications to complete dig-out projects. All hazardous wastes are transported to appropriate disposal and treatment facilities.

Typical Procedure for Underground Storage Tank Removal Projects

The UST abandonment process includes the following procedures:

  • An application for Underground Storage Tank Removal including as-built plans and proposed excavation calculations.
  • An approved permit by the local regulatory agency.
  • Site specific health and safety plan.
  • Specialized earthwork construction meeting all OSHA standards.
  • Pre-demolition hazardous materials management and spill prevention.
  • Proper planning for hazardous waste disposal and EPA Certification.
  • Tank-hauling and truck-mounting for licensed transportation.
  • Soil sampling.
  • Laboratory analysis and environmental assessment report.
  • Certified soil back-filling and compaction testing.
  • Surface pavement.

Mandatory Environmental Testing

Agencies require soil sample analysis under USTs. Laboratory results are reported to determine the possibility of a leak. Remediation services are offered if contamination is apparent.  Furthermore, contaminated soil can be cleaned-up via impact source removal remediation.

Underground Storage Tank Removal or UST Removal in Los Angeles ©Marc Majcher

Underground Storage Tank Removal or UST Removal, Los Angeles



www.lafd.org CUPA
www.lafd.org Abandonment Guidelines

Geo Forward, Inc. is a preferred provider of UST abandonment services in California.

Call (888) 930-6604 and speak with a licensed geologist, engineer or contractor.

Geo Forward, Inc.

Forward-Thinking Geologists, Engineers & Contractors!

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10 thoughts on “Underground Storage Tank Removal or UST Abandonment

    • Azad A. Kaligi, PG Post author

      Hello Judith,

      Absolutely. Geo Forward, Inc. conducts all regulatory agency correspondence. This includes the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Environmental Programs Division (DPW EPD): permit, inspection and closure.

    • Azad A. Kaligi, PG Post author

      Hi Alex,

      The cost of UST excavation varies depending on site specifics. For an example: A standard service station has one 20,000 gallon UST for regular gasoline and one 12,000 gallon UST for premium. A typical truck stop can have five 20,000 gallon USTs for diesel and atleast one 5,000 gallon UST for used motor oil. The truck stop would cost a lot more to decommission compared to the gas station.

      Additionally, the frequency of product piping and dispenser islands can play a role in the cost. Furthermore, underground tank sizes, quantities, UST condition, and excavation methods govern the process of abandonment.

      Moreover, the jurisdiction of the job site can affect costs. UST abandonment sites in southern California and the Bay Area usually require a larger amount of environmental compliance and inspection. Projects in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego require extensive documentation and oversight.

      We would be happy to take a look at your property specifically. For your convenience, we can explain each step and provide a cost estimate. Feel free to contact me anytime.


      Azad A. Kaligi, PG
      (888) 930-6604

  • Reginald Shaffner

    Is there a difference between underground storage tank removal versus abandonment? Does underground tank abandonment mean leaving the UST in place, and just backfilling with cement? OR does it have to be excavated?

    • Azad A. Kaligi, PG Post author

      Abandoning a UST just means decommissioning the tank per regulatory standards. In the past, agencies allowed filling the interior with slurry. These days, agencies require the tanks to be cleaned-out and excavated.

      There are many steps to this process. Feel free to send us details of your project to optimize the scope of work.


      Azad A. Kaligi, PG
      (888) 930-6604 x700

  • Phil

    We found a surprise tank at our job site during the phase ii environmental site assessment. the phase 2 subsurface report didnt mention the soil was contaminated. do we still need soil sampling during the abandonment?